With no hope of a holiday this year, I knew that I’d need to find something else to do to occupy my time. I’ve thought about turning one of the bedrooms into a craft room for a while, but the enormity of decorating it has put me off doing anything about it until now.
What was my dad’s bedroom was pretty grim. The wallpaper was coming off the walls, there were lots of cracks in the ceiling, and the carpet was really manky. It was full of furniture and stuff that I still haven’t got round to sorting, because I have no idea what to do with it.
I started by doing lots of sitting, looking at all the stuff, and procrastinating. I made myself move the clutter into another room and then looked to see how I could manage to decorate with a massive bed in the way. Thankfully the bed came apart in two very moveable bits, and if I upended them, they took up much less space, so my plans seemed a bit more promising. I spent a couple of days prepping the room – the wallpaper took ages to come off properly. The walls, ceiling and woodwork were all in quite a state.
I had a clear idea of how I wanted the room to look. I wanted a feature wall, with quite a bold print in purples. Typically I couldn’t find anything like this, but I did find this lovely paper from Laura Ashley.
It was quite expensive, but it had 50% off, so I ordered a couple of rolls, hoping that it looked as nice in reality as it did online. Thank goodness it did. I love it! I’ve wallpapered before, but never had to pattern match, so that was going to be a test for me.
Turns out there were numerous tests for me! I know you should start with the ceiling, but it made more sense for me to paint the far wall, which was going to be white, like the ceiling, then I could move the furniture against that wall and get to more of the ceiling in one go. And to be perfectly honest, I was really putting off dealing with all of the cracks in the ceiling.
So how difficult could it be to just paint a wall? Extremely it seems. Even though I’ve decorated most of the rooms in the house at some time or other, I’ve never had any problems painting before. I was scrupulous about prepping the wall, something that I hate doing, but when I came to apply the paint, it didn’t stick. I tried to wipe it off, but that made it worse, so I had to invest in a primer (never had to use one before). I couldn’t get rid of the lumpy bits of paint that had been left after the first application, but as this wall was going to be covered with shelving, I thought that I could live with it, lumpy bits and all.
Once I’d done the ceiling (in the hottest, most humid week of the summer), I was on a bit more of a roll. Along with the papered wall and the white wall, I decided I would have a grey wall and a deep pink wall. I found a lovely pink colour, but it just didn’t work with the rest of the room, so I painted over it with the grey paint – which is a lovely pale blue-grey, which works brilliantly with the wallpaper.
So all was going better. The wallpapering isn’t perfect, but it’s probably only me that can notice it, and I do become an absolute perfectionist when it comes to decorating.
The walls, ceiling and skirting board were all quite problematic, and getting neat even lines was near impossible in the corners and edges of the room. I’ve never put up coving before, but I thought that this would at least hide the messy edges at the top of the walls and the ceiling. I didn’t know that you’re supposed to put this up before decorating, but I decided to go ahead with it anyway. I looked at loads of online tutorials to find out how to do this, in particular the tricky internal and external corners. I had the mitre box and all the tools, but my brain refused to cooperate. I knew in principle what to do but putting it into action was just a big no-no. I must have spent half a day trying to get the angles right for the corners. Eventually, I did it – I couldn’t tell you how – but it definitely looked neater with it up. Then I had the problem of painting it and trying to avoid going over the newly painted and papered walls. I managed just about, but then had to go round with the grey paint to neaten everything up again.
And ta-dah – it is done. Nearly. I still need to sort out the flooring, and then I can start moving all my crafty bits in. I’m going to get a small sofa in there and a coffee table, and maybe another table and chair by the window, so I can work in natural light.
Although there was plenty of blood, sweat and tears, and bruises (so many bruises from knocking against the ladder and walking into the furniture all the time), I’m delighted with it. I don’t think my dad would mind too much!